Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I'm taking a mental respite

This is the table project that will NEVER die. I may die first at this rate.

In the second photo, you can see what the finish used to look like on the sides of the leaf. It started chipping the day we brought it home--we should have taken it back but we didn't for various (lazy) reasons. All along, I've been swearing I would refinish it. Then I discover it's veneer and not solid wood. Nice. (OT: remember that Frasier episode where Niles & Frasier and Marty watch Antiques Road Show and take a drink every time someones says "veneer?" If you haven't it's freaking hilarious.) I decided that I would do a porcelain crackle finish. Above is the primer and base coat as I was halfway through.

So I started by sanding. The finish was so poor that all it did was flake off and gum up the sandpaper, so I moved onto chemicals. This worked really, really well and very quickly I might add. Then the primer--which here is mistake #2 (or#3 if you count buying the stupid table in the first place). I got an OIL based primer but didn't discover it until I tried to clean the roller and ended up with a roller of white oily dreadlocks.

So it was back to Mecca, I mean Lowe's for another primer. A coat of that. Then 2-3 coats of the base paint. Mistake #4--I used a cleaned roller for the second coat and discovered that i hadn't cleaned the roller as well as I thought. It left little sandy speckles and pissed me right off! Okay, sand that down, one more coat.

Finally (I think) onto the crackle medium. So I put it on in what I would consider a thick coat. But not thick enough. If you're keeping track we're onto #5 on the mistake countdown. The thicker the coat of crackle medium, the nicer the crackle looks. I put another layer on with a roller rather than a brush this time. #6--it left little air bubbles that TOTALLY ruined the crackleyness.

I've sanded it down and taken a mental respite from this Godforsaken tabletop. If I could lift it, I would have thrown it across the yard, similar to the BBQ coup of 2003--a story for another day. What a freaking disaster.

I needed to be got to sewing!

This clutch came out far better than i anticipated. There were mistakes, but nothing so boneheaded that you'd get a chuckle from them. The pattern is a freebie. I was wanting something to carry for Friday night when my uberchic friend from Miami is in town. She knows me pretty well, so it's just an ego-booster for me because she is spectacular-looking and dammit, I don't want to feel frumpy!

So for all my friends who think I do crafts so perfectly, this post is for you. See, I mess up ALL the time--i just don't tell you about it. Wink.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Crazy Daisies for my niece, Malea

I did some decorative painting in my niece Malea's new bedroom. For her birthday, her parents painted, bought new furniture and bedding. She asked me to do paint "flowers and butterflies." You see how cute she is, how could i resist?

This was done using sponges, believe it or not. Her bedding looks like it was sponge-painted so I thought it would work out well. I hand cut the two different petals, centers and leaves.

First, I got my husband to help me draw level lines around the room so it all didn't get crooked. Thank goodness for laser levels! Then I painted the bigger pink flowers, randomly placing them where I thought they needed to be. Then came the purple flowers, centers and leaves. After it was all dry, I went back and added leaf and petal details. Then i stamped a couple butterflies with a chunky foam stamp. The final step was to use a glitter glaze (which probably doesn't show up in the pictures) on the petals.

All in all, I am super pleased with how this turned out. I even surprised myself! LOL! Malea was stoked about it, so that was nice, too! And the paints and sponges were under $10 total. Can't beat that with a stick. I'd love to do this as a side business, but I'm afraid I'd get in over my head! If someone wanted a horse or football player, I'd be screwed!